(Beware, spoilers below!)
This week on The Flash we start the tense finale as Barry begins by questioning Eobard Thawne. He asks why Thawne killed his mother and the latter tells him him the whole sorry tale where he killed Nora Allen out of revenge. He tells Barry that if he helps him get home he will let Barry go back in time to save his mother. The whole time discuss the dilemma and Professor Stein warns him about changing fifteen years of time and Joe tells him that Barry has to do it.
Joe tells him that he has the chance to live with both parents and to take back his live. He goes to talk to his dad about his dilemma but he’s emphatically told no. The Allen father tells him that there’s a reason for everything and he doesn’t know the cost of what will happen. In the Labs Ronnie tells Caitlin he loves her and he asks her to marry him again. On a city rooftop Iris and Barry talk, and he admits to her how hard it was to admit his feelings to her. She tells him that she should go for what’s in his heart.
Thawne tells him that they use the particle accelerator to be able to punch a hole in the fabric of space time. Unfortunately if he’s not fast enough, he’ll die. Barry requests Cisco to make a time machine and he goes to talk to Thawne in order get some answers. The two have a tense argument where Cisco confesses that Thawne once killed him. The latter apologises but not for killing his young friend, but that Cisco remembers any traces of the alternate timeline at all. He says it means that Cisco got affected by the particle accelerator too and tells him not to forget who gave him that life.
Eddie talks to Professor Stein about how he feels about the future. Stein explains the improbability of Eddie’s existence and how this proves that he’s possibly the only character who can choose his own destiny. However, there’s a greater problem – it’s a possibility that the accelerator might cause a singularity which could possibly destroy everything. Wells tell him that the risk gives Barry two minutes to save his mother and return to this time to close the wormhole.
Barry and Joe talk it out once more, leading to a heartfelt conversation about how Barry will never lose Joe, no matter what. Eddie goes to talk to Iris about the power of coincidences and his newfound belief that everything moment of his life led up to meeting her. Love’s pretty great at the Labs too as Caitlin and Ronnie get married. But this is short lived as Barry’s about to dash back in time.
In the accelerator Barry sees the different realities flash in front of his eyes and Wells tells him to concentrate on where he wants to go. Hey presto, Barry manages to make it back in time and he witnesses his mother’s murder once more, not stopping it. He listens as Thawne kills his mother once and as his mother lies dying Barry tells her that it’s him and that everything turns out ok for them.
Back at the Labs Wells sets out to go back in time but Barry gets to him first. Thawne is furious that Barry didn’t save his mother, and the two battle it out as the wormhole becomes more and more unstable. With just a few seconds left Thawne is about to kill Barry but Eddie shoots himself so that the Reverse Flash can be finally erased from existence. The wormhole ends up reopening, sucking Eddie’s body into it as the team barely makes it out alive.
As the black hole threatens the city and the whole world Barry attempts to save the day once more…
Well that’s how you do a season finale. Grant Gustin owned the episode from start to finish, with him taking on possibly the biggest dilemma of all when it comes to time travel: the chance to change your past. His ultimate choice was a heartbreaking yet logical one. Barry understands the cost and it keeps his character steady on the path of goodness that he’s loved for. He’s becoming the CW/DC-verse’s Captain American type hero, and that’s no bad thing at all. However we also saw Eddie Thawne finally get his moment in the spotlight. He’s had a season of ups and downs in terms of characterisation and purpose, but his ending was perfect. It reminds the viewers that though this is a crazy time-travel science laden show, the heart of the characters is what makes us love it so much. I’ve never cared much for Eddie either way, but his death was still a punch in the gut. Kudos to the writers for pulling that off as by contrast the usually strong character of Caitlin served no more than a reminder of the good life to Barry as she finally got her ‘happy ending’. Perhaps a blip in a strong episode, but one that’s easily forgotten.
With a great season finale rounding off a great season it almost leaves one anxious as to how Season Two will possibly top it. But with signs of the multiverse looming, I for one am willing to keep my hopes up. Now… I can’t have been the only noticing that ‘Excelsior’ hint at Marvel from Professor Stein early in the episode; what do you guys think, was that a jibe or nod?